The setting is Sicily, and Polixenes, the King of Bohemia, is visiting his childhood friend, Sicily’s King, Leontes. Leontes suspects that his wife Hermione and Polixenes are having an affair and he becomes murderously jealous. Leontes tells Camillo, one of his lords, that he wants him to poison Polixenes. Camillo, however, informs Polixenes of the plan, and the two men quickly depart for Bohemia.
Shakespeare took much of the story from Pondasto, A Triumph of Time by Robert Greene, a contemporary of his who had little admiration for the playwright. Shakespeare changed the story by giving it a happy ending.
This annotated edition includes a biography and critical essay.
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About the Author
Widely esteemed as the greatest writer in the English language, William Shakespeare (1564-1616) was an actor and theatrical producer in addition to writing plays and sonnets. Dubbed "The Bard of Avon," Shakespeare oversaw the building of the Globe Theatre in London, where a number of his plays were staged, the best-known of which include Romeo and Juliet, Hamlet, and Macbeth. The First Folio, a printed book of 36 of his comedies, tragedies, and history plays, was published in 1623.